Consumer Complaints and Reviews
My father passed away without a will and as the administrator of his estate it was left to me to handle his final affairs. When a person dies without a will, there are without a doubt some inherent challenges. These challenges are easily overcome with time, patience and the appropriate legal documents EXCEPT in the case of Prudential Smart Solutions IRA. Dealing with them has been the single most challenging and ass backwards experience of handling my father's affairs. Each call I made to Prudential exceeded 30 minutes and was handled by a different individual none of which had answers to even the most basic questions. Having one account representative assigned to his account might've been helpful instead of having to identify myself and re live his death and that whole story each time I called.
Especially disappointing was the clown who asked to speak to the account holder after I identified myself as the administrator of my deceased father's estate account. Bottom line their rules are more restrictive than the IRS. While IRS allows for beneficiaries of the estate to establish separate individual IRAs funded by the the IRA in name of the estate, Prudential opts not to allow it.
In my father's passing I took control of his assets, dealt with the loan holder on his house, sold his house, managed his bank accounts, sold his cars, worked with other financial institutions for distribution and worked with the IRS to resolve tax issues. The combined energy and effort associated with addressing and resolving these accounts was a cake walk in comparison to dealing with Prudential. They have BY FAR exceeded the stuff of nightmares and for the lowest possible return. I wouldn't recommend their services to anyone. Ever.
What a turd this turned out to be for my mom... Low risk? Safe growth? My rear end. The bond market is tanking and she's locked in with no way to re-allocate. Once the principal of a bond vehicle decreases the likelihood of it ever rebounding is minimal. Guaranteed income... guaranteed to lose your principal and jeopardize your nest egg if bond yields rise. Hoping for a class action lawsuit!
I have 2 retirement accounts and 1 Command account with Prudential. My agent is very helpful. However, both he and I are extremely frustrated because their systems don't work well and are so byzantine that even the so-called experts at Prudential disagree on how to do things. Their Web sites are very poorly designed and hard to use. To make the slightest change requires intervention from my agent, and sometimes takes months. Because they don't have the ability to do things on a computerized basis, my agent has to manually do all the work with my reinvested funds each month!
For the Command account, there is no mention of statements on their Web site. It turns out that statements are on a third-party site, separate from all other information on the account, and there is no link to that site or mention of it on Prudential's Web site. Furthermore, that third-party site has great difficulty connecting Prudential customers with their accounts. It currently can't even recognize that I have an account. I have not been able to access statements for 6 months.
Prudential's management is so incompetent that I find it impossible to believe they will remain in business. You can't be this messed up and keep your customers. I worry that I will use my funds when they go belly-up, and I have lots of money with them. I don't think they will continue to be able to get good agents because why would anyone good go with such a poorly managed operation when there are other companies they could work for?
I asked for a moderate risk account. They invested my account for several years in government bonds that we're paying less than 0.2% but they were charging me 1.25% for this account. I was better off putting my money under the mattress or with Discover IRA which pays 1% and has no fees. I also asked for a distribution from my IRA to take advantage of taxes but they took so long I entered another tax year. Worst return on retirements fund I have ever seen and lots of hidden fees you will never see unless you read extremely fine print.
Bought from a Prudential account, a dividend paying instrument. It is several years between payments. In Ma it was never a problem. I tell Prudential about missing fund, they pulled my account and said "yes it is here." I called 4 days later about this money and now there is no record. Massachusetts misplaced fund. Response was "sorry we have no record." This was strange as I had been contacted by a proxy. We said it was there and they would retrieve it for a mere 20% of the total. Why do I feel the recipient of crack back blocks?
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I was with Prudential for nearly 14 years with a 401k. When I left my job for a new job, I waited a year and sought to rollover my Prudential 401k to another investment firm. I sent in the rollover paperwork no less than 6x over a 6 month period. I nearly gave up until my new investment provider got involved to assist. Each time, I called they needed some paperwork, something wasn't legible or the best one was the fax machine cut it off. Upon completion, 4 months later, I receive a letter saying that I have some money left in the account. I asked for the $ to be sent to me. They initially hit me with a $40 processing fee for the rollover.
Now they hit me with another $40 for the remaining balance cash out. I called back to see if the fee could be waived because my full 401k was to be rolled over. They won't refund my $40 and all the explanation they can give is that my employer put it there upon cash out two years after I left the company. You decide if you want to be subject to this company. I personally never will again.
Prudential Financial Companies pay out greater compensation to broker-dealers to defraud VA individuals. When the contract was issued, Prudential gave VA individuals unregistered funds (including hedge funds), which were already doped with significant amount of mispriced "junk bonds" and then use a 2-stage arbitrage-based defined benefit risk transfer embezzlement scheme to steal capital funds and market gains of VA individuals during stage 1 of each benefit quarter; and cook the books at stage 2 on each benefit quarter. Civil Action No. ** against Prudential Financial, Inc., et al was file with US District Court, Northern District of IL E Div. on July 15, 2014.
I made the mistake of investing a significant amount of money with Prudential advisors. Their fees were not competitive (1.5%), and they flatter you and tell you what you want to hear to get your money. I fell for it, I'm ashamed to say. I started getting suspicious when they started pushing an annuity for a large sum of money ($500K). I am only 40. I also fortunately passed on getting long term care insurance through them. I got suckered into a whole life policy, thinking my son (who is mentally disabled) would need the funds when I die.
They really pushed the "for your son's welfare" angle, when I now know I could make more just investing it. They also sold me a 401K for my office, but never told me about the kickbacks they got. I finally pulled everything when they recommended I stay in bonds in 2012, then stocks go up 18%, and then they tell me now I need to be in stocks. I estimate I've lost about $20-40K with them due to bad investing and their fees, in just 18 months. Everything is with Vanguard now, and will stay there. PS: Frontline did a really good report on this issue about 2 months ago.
Prudential annuity - The past returns are not reflected on my accounts. When questioned that the past returns stated were different, they said they can alter each account even when they have stated publicly yearly returns. How is the consumer to judge from past performance when the returns are false?
There are two money market accounts available to employees of Golden Gate University. One is a Medley account, the other is a Prudential Goverment Securities Trust account. There was no warning on the exchange funds page that advised me that I should review the plan highlights (located on another web page (or a link to the highlights page) to indicate I might be electing a plan where I would be charged surrender fees.
I chose the Prudential Government Securities Plan and received a confirmation in the mail that shows I was charged $843.60 in surrender fees (4% of my contributions and 4% of my employers contributions). I called Prudential right away (the confirmation says I have 30 days to register a complaint - so I called them on 1/28/03). Marilyn said she would check into to it, asked three other people and said she got three different answers. She then said she would call me back after my account had been reviewed.
Today (1/29/03) she called me to say the surrender fees stand, that I was charged 4% of my contributions and 4% of my employers contributions. I asked if there was a review board I could write to. She said no, that my accout had been reviewed by senior management, but that she would register a complaint with them. The telephone conversation was recorded. She informed me that information about possible surrender charges were contained on the website under Highlights.
She said she would register my complaint on the basis that there was no indication on the Exhange Funds page that does not warn anyone surrender charges may apply. I said, yes, if I had had a warning, I would have never elected to place my funds in the Prudential Government Securities. I am outraged and very, very disappointed with Prudential. It seems to be a cruel trick on unsuspecting consumers to help themselves to hard-earned wages that we are trying to save for retirement.
ConsumerAffairs Research Team
The ConsumerAffairs Research Team believes everyone deserves to make smart decisions. We aim to provide readers with the most up-to-date information available about today's consumer products and services.
Prudential was founded in 1875 to provide affordable life insurance policies to working class individuals in New Jersey. Today, the company offers a wide variety of financial products, including life insurance, annuities and mutual funds to consumers around the world.
- Investment options: Consumers can choose from many different money market, equity and fixed-income mutual funds from Prudential. The also have specialty equity funds comprised of investments in specific sectors, like real estate, utilities and more.
- Information: Interested investors can find information for all the company’s funds on Prudential’s website. Information includes commentary about performance as well as the prospectus, annual and semi-annual reports, lists of holding and fact sheets.
- Comparison tool: The Prudential website features a Fund Comparison Tool that makes it easy to compare up to three Prudential funds at one time. The tool makes it easy to see the cost of each fund as well as other important distinctions.
- PruView: Investors who want to learn more about investing can read the PruView part of the website. It has news articles and market insights to help consumers learn more.
- Financial professionals: Investors who want some help can find a financial professional through Prudential. They can request a qualified advisor to contact them by filling out a form online.
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